The Earth celebrates Jason Heyward don't ya know. Every 22nd day of the month is now J-Hey Day. FOR EVAR.
So, raise of hands. Who is completely freaking sick and tired of Jason Heyward mania? Go ahead, raise 'em up high. My, that's a lot. I don't blame you, there's been a whole lot of unproven rookies in the past few years that have been the ol' suckarooni. Joba's sure counting those Cy Young Awards. Kosuke is leading the Cubbies to the promised land for sure. Was anyone overhyped to hell last year? Not Chris Coughlan and Andrew Bailey, that's for sure. The players that make the cover of irrelevant monthly price guide publications are not necessarily the best players in the league.
However... sometimes the overhypers get it right. They got it right with Heyward.
One of the better things I'll write this year just got published on a Phillies blog. Phungo asked me about Jason and I basically said he's the best prospect since Pujols. I truly believe this. Mainly because I got a first hand look at Jason at a Triple-A game in Gwinnett late last year. The dude has skills, he not only has five tools, but he used all of them in that game. The speed and the arm and the power are easy, hell Francoeur had that. Jason has something more, he's got patience. he'll take a walk. He's got smarts, he'll get struck out on a pitch, then make an adjustment and hit a homer on the exact same pitch later that game. He's got humility, he goes out does the best he can and doesn't showboat. And the kid is friggin twenty. He can't legally order a beer yet.
If you think I'm a crazed homer who is blinded because my favorite team has the new hotness rookie, that's fine. I understand. I've got a half a dozen rookie cards of Andres Thomas filed away as testament of how bad I am at prospecting. If you truly think that Heyward will end up a bum, then just trade me his cards. I have a pretty huge inventory, I can probably find something you want. Have an auto? I've got autos of Hall of Famers like Aparicio and Robinson and Killebrew and Mazeroski. I'll trade you one of 'em for a J-Hey auto and throw some other stuff on top of it just because. Pull one of the Heyward relics from Topps Pro Debut? I got tons of relics, tell me what player you like. Got some base cards? I'll take them too, name the player you want in return, I'll find one. I'll send first. If you really think this guy is the next coming of Joe Charboneau then rip me off. I'll be happy to do so.
I've already got about 10 or so Heyward cards with some dupes mixed in. The first Redemption from Topps Finest is a Heyward card so obviously the presses are going to start to run on Heyward cards real soon. It's time to start the collection for reals. I'm basically going to try to collect every J-Hey card I can get my hands on. Not going to be quite as obsessive as Thorzul and his CC collection, but I'm certainly going to do my best to fill up a monster box one day like I've done with My Chipper collection. Here's the first Heyward card I have specifically bought. All the rest I've pulled out of packs or got in trades. I overpaid.
This is a 2009 Obak card of Heyward. This wasn't from the main set, but was an isert in one of TriStar's later releases. I've wanted it since it came out but I haven't seen it anywhere before this week. Not buying online anymore has put a crimp in my collecting, but I'll make up for it with perseverance. This one was sitting in a case at Atlanta Sports Cards for ten bucks. Now this probably isn't a ten dollar card and in a year or two when the hype has calmed down and there are plenty of cards of Heyward out on the market I'd probably be able to pick this one up for a couple bucks. You know what? Heck with that. I like Heyward, I believe in Heyward, I'mma gonna collect Heyward. If it means passing up 40 cards at the quarter box, so be it. I like this card enough to overpay.
The card has Jason in the same red Gwinnett home uni that he wore in the game I went to. I took some pictures on a crummy camera, I really need to figure out what I did with them. The background has a nice pic of the Gwinnett stadium stands if I'm not mistaken. It's a pretty nice little ballpark if you're even in North Georgia and want to see a cheap game. They also had a variation card that had some trees in the background instead of the stadium. I'll probably go back and pick that one up eventually assuming one of you vultures doesn't get there first. The back says this is a limited edition of 425. I'm not sure if that is a total printing number or what. Not sure that it matters. It's a nice card of my future favorite player that reminds me of a nice day I had at the ballpark last fall. And that's what this hobby is all about, isn't it?